The £113m contract for the redevelopment of a major stretch of road between Belfast and Larne has been awarded to a consortium that includes local firm Lagan Construction.
Regional development minister Conor Murphy said the winning tender for the job of dualling a 14km section of the A8 had gone to the partnership of Lagan, Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial and UK engineering group Costain.
Six tenders were received for the high profile road deal, which could create up to 200 jobs.
Work will take place between the B95 Coleman's Corner Junction and the B100 Ballyrickard Road Junction.
The Minister said: "This is a strategically important route for the North which links the Port of Larne to Belfast and on to Dublin.
"With traffic levels continuing to grow, a dual carriageway will improve safety, reduce congestion and improve journey times on this vital route."
With construction starting in 2012, Mr Murphy welcomed the early appointment of the contractor who can contribute to the development of the design.
"The construction phase will be particularly welcome in the current economic climate and when started will likely generate in the region of 200 jobs," he said.